Where Do Millennials Fit in the Gig Economy? RPO Can Help

It is conventional wisdom by now that the so-called “gig economy” will continue to grow. The move toward an agile workforce – in which workers hold temporary positions or are independent contractors – feels all but inevitable, supposedly driven by millennials’ desire for flexibility and work-life balance over everything else. But is that what they really want?

A recent survey by the Career Advisory Board found that 91% of the millennials they talked to preferred to work at a single, full-time job. And the notion that they are notorious job hoppers? This also seems to be more perception than reality, as 78% said they preferred job stability.

How Does This Affect Recruiting?

This seeming contradiction – an economy that is aggressively shifting away from what the largest section of the workforce says it wants – presents a challenge for talent acquisition teams. Devoting the time and energy needed for such a nuanced candidate search can be challenging for in-house teams, especially when there are a large number of vacancies to fill. This provides an opportunity to take advantage of the comprehensive expertise offered by a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner.

With RPO, recruitment goes beyond the standard post-and-pray method of finding candidates. RPO recruiters are not mere order-takers but strategic partners who become enmeshed in the client’s organization, espousing their values and vision, and using keen insight to tap into appropriate talent pools.

“Step one is to just understand your target market,” said Angela Hills, Chief Revenue Officer at Cielo. “In the tech industry, for instance, there are people out there who never want to work for a big company again, no matter how much you pay them. They want to be paid by the hour, and they don’t care about benefits. As an RPO company, we’re able to tune in to that and tell our clients, ‘You’re not going to hire them full time, because your value proposition is just not going to work for them. So let’s be really innovative and creative about how we help you go after those people, and find a way to bring that talent to you.’”

Employer Branding

Employer branding has a huge role to play, as candidates are taking more factors into account than ever before. Millennials – and workers from other generations as well – do not just want to know facts and figures, they want to hear the story of the company and feel its culture.

Most organizations say they recognize the importance of building an employer brand, but many are still investing the majority of their money, time and energy in traditional tactics like job postings and staffing agencies. Keeping the company’s brand alive to candidates becomes an afterthought, left over for whoever has the time. But with a true RPO partnership, bolstering the employer brand is an essential part of the strategy.

RPO partners have teams dedicated solely to social media, maintaining (and in some cases creating) a careers site, and interacting with potential candidates. The overall effect is that the brand is attractive and cohesive, whether the target is full-time or part-time candidates, Millennials or Gen-Xers.

While much is still uncertain, one thing for sure is that organizations that do the best job integrating the gig economy with their traditional workforce will be the most successful. Finding the right talent – not just the available talent – is crucial to making that happen. Working with a recruitment partner can make everybody’s job a whole lot easier.

 

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